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driving from St. Louis to Salt Lake City---suggestions?

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Jul 10th, 2010, 02:07 PM
  #1
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driving from St. Louis to Salt Lake City---suggestions?

My best friend and I are driving from St. Louis, Mo to to Salt Lake City, UT in early August and I am wanting advice on what route to take. I know the quickest way is through Nebraska (i did this one last year), but I am thinking Kansas and Colorado would be prettier (ok...really just the colorado part ;-). We originally were going to camp and see a show at Red Rocks in Morrison, but due to time, the lose of driving hours that come with camping, and no shows we are excited about, we have decided to put that venue back on our bucket list for now and save camping cross country for a trip when we have more time. I am looking for suggested routes, or places worth seeing that would help us determine our route. I was thinking maybe trail ridge road? I am looking for a scenic bang for our driving buck (more like time than buck). I would also be very appreciative for suggestions of great food and good hole-in-the wall places where one could get a drink and maybe some music after a long drive.

Thanks in advance.

amanda
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Jul 11th, 2010, 08:54 AM
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My favorite route would be I-70 to US-40 at Empire, west of Denver about 40 miles. Then US-40 to SLC. Along the way, if you're interested in that sort of thing, a stop at the US Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson AFB near Dayton, OH.

Once you leave Denver, you are in scenic country all the way to SLC. Just outside Denver, Lookout Mountain is home to Buffalo Bill's grave site and museum, just a few miles off the freeway. Lookout Mountain also has a great view of the Denver area and the high plains. Just a little further along I-70, as you make a sweeping curve to the left, there is a tremendous view on the right side of the peaks of the Continental Divide.

On US-40,you travel through the mountains for a long way, passing through Empire, across Berthoud Pass, and into Winter Park, a mountain resort town. Further along you pass through more mountains and broad mountain valleys.

At the UT-CO border, you are within a short detour of Dinosaur National Monument. As you get further into UT, Brown Valley is a serene and pastoral area and Heber is a charming little town, home to the Heber Creeper, an excursion train into Provo Canyon. Once out of Heber, you'll cross the Wasatch Mountains and drop into SLC.

I'll leave the dining and drinking recommendations you asked for to someone with more current experience.
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Jul 11th, 2010, 09:44 AM
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Whoops! I had a senior moment. Dayton is on I-70 but not on your route - it is far east of St. Louis. Sorry about that.
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Jul 11th, 2010, 05:05 PM
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US 40 is a very scenic route, but it can take a lot longer from DEN to SLC and IMO is worth it if you have the time to get off the interstate for awhile.
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Jul 12th, 2010, 05:51 AM
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Kansas ma be prettier than you think. It certainly has gotton the wrong reputation for being flat. Eastern Colorado and much of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois are flatter.

But I hate I-70 across Missouri. That road neads to be completely rebuilt and expanded. It is a quite unpleasent drive.
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Jul 12th, 2010, 06:54 PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions. Someone told me I should try to add Grand Lake, CO into my trip. It add's a few hours to what I have mapped out based on your suggestions (I haven't figured out what to do with I-70 through MO just yet). Any opinions if Grand Lake is worth it? I am thinking I would probably rather on I-40 through the mountains than spend it getting to a town, but if it is worth it, we could add it.

Thanks.
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Jul 12th, 2010, 08:49 PM
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Unless you are going to do water-borne recreation, I'd choose US-40 over Grand Lake.
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Aug 8th, 2010, 06:42 AM
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thank you everyone! You have helped plan a really fun trip I hope.
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